For anyone thinking about negotiating a salary offer when a range is posted or asking for a raise, we know how scary it can be. Even people that have been in the working world for a long time and have had multiple jobs get nervous about negotiating a new salary.
Asking for a raise or an initial salary amount is hard, but those who negotiate for their best rate are always viewed more positively than those that do not. Whenever you go in to negotiate a new salary, employers rarely ever give you their best offer right away. This is part of negotiating. Negotiation is a skill that all employers value.
Regardless of which way your negotiation turns out, you never know unless you try. This article will give you some good guidance and tips on how to handle negotiating your pay for a new job or if you are looking for a raise.
Here are the highlights of what we will cover in this guide to negotiating your best salary:
Be prepared to negotiate
Having a plan
Executing the negotiation
How many people negotiate for a higher salary?
Only about 37% percent of people ALWAYS negotiate their salary
44% percent say they negotiate occasionally
Over 18% never negotiate their salaries.
These are very unfortunate stats because studies have shown when people fail to negotiate a first salary, stand to lose over $500,000 by the age of 60.
Prepare for the negotiation
Doing your homework is key. You have to be ready to negotiate when you walk (or call) into the meeting. Don’t be caught off guard by their offer.
Study the market rates for the position before you interview. It is important to know what the current amounts are, otherwise, you will be at a disadvantage in any negotiation.
Remember, rates are tied to location, so search for your specific location (or the location you want to move to).
There are many resources online for researching salaries. Employment agencies and headhunters also know the going rates.
Don’t just look at salaries. Consider what other benefits the employer can provide and what you would like from the job. These are all negotiable.
Get organized. Once you have all of your information, create a document to organize it, and include your strategy on how to approach the discussion.
Make a one-page list of your accomplishments.
Create a short list of all your best accomplishments, awards, customer and co-worker testimonials, reviews, and certifications.
Don’t include anything really old (more than a few years).
Your goal is to have a brief list of “wows” to impress your boss or potential new employer.
Practice, practice, practice. You can never practice too much. So, rehearse your pitch repeatedly until you have it down. Practice speaking to a mirror, on video, or with someone that can help you until you are totally confident and comfortable with your presentation.
Plan all aspects of negotiating the salary offer when a range is posted
Timing is everything. If you are given the opportunity, then try to schedule your meeting at the end of the week
People tend to be more unhappy and less agreeable at the beginning of the week.
Thursdays and Fridays are the best days to meet because people are feeling better (it’s almost the weekend), more relaxed, and amenable to being flexible.
Go for the top of the range. Based on your investigation of salaries, you should know what the maximum market value for your role is. Shoot for that, but don’t expect to get it.
Always stress how great you are and emphasize that you are worth that amount.
Be ready for them to negotiate down.
How much do you want? Exactly.
Using a specific amount is more effective than throwing out a range. This makes it easier for your potential employer to respond. Say $75,600 versus somewhere between $60 and $80k.
Use a number down to the hundreds of dollars (or thousands if you are really well paid!). Don’t use a round number, like $75,000.
Using a very specific amount will show you have done your research and know what you are talking about.
Solid execution will seal the deal
Don’t be scared or timid. You know what you are worth, ask for it. It is extremely rare for someone to lose their job because they asked for a raise. However, don’t be demanding or too forceful, because this will put them off, and they definitely will not be open to any negotiation. If you are negotiating salary when the salary range is posted, then make sure your offer is in the range they are seeking. If you ask for a number above their range, then they will likely reject you immediately.
Exude confidence. The way you present yourself is critical. Be aware of your body language and speech patterns. Keep your comments to the point and brief. Don’t digress or go on and on about your justifications
Your tone of voice and demeanor should be upbeat and engaged, but don’t be pushy, overbearing, or self-centered.
Use your active listening skills and don’t interrupt.
Always communicate in an enthusiastic, polite, and professional manner during any negotiations.
What if it does not work out the way you expect? You must be prepared to handle the situation if your negotiations do not go your way.
Be ready to walk away. Know what your minimum acceptable amount is, and turn down their offer if they do not meet that threshold.
This is the most difficult part of negotiating, but if you are not equipped to handle this scenario, then you will get taken advantage of.
The best-case scenario for any negotiation is that both people (or groups) come away feeling that they have a win. Salary negotiations are no different. You want to get what you are worth, but you also want your employer to feel good about the value they are getting for their money (and benefits). Above all, you want to start (or continue) your working relationship on a positive note.
Know what you are worth
Just arbitrarily pick a number for your target salary
Be confident and able to sell yourself
Be hesitant or unsure
Have a specific number and/or benefits in mind
Throw out random things you want
Be prepared to walk away or quit (if you really feel you are underpaid)
Don’t just give up if they decline to negotiate or make a feeble offer
Always be professional and positive
Don’t burn your bridges
Always do your research and be well-prepared to negotiate
Be confident and professional
Know what you are worth and be ready to walk away from a bad offer
Stay positive and conclude your negotiation on a high note, no matter which way it goes